We are nearing the close of yet another year. It is also, historically, a time when we reassess ourselves and even make new resolutions for the upcoming new year. However, we also realize that New Years resolutions often disappear within hours, days or weeks of their original well-intended claim. In these next three weeks I want to address the subject of personal change and improvement, beginning with insight and exercise I share with every private client. This is designed to alert you to why getting what you want seems to be such a slippery slope for so many of us and why it often doesnt work or doesnt last. We try many different avenues to help develop and improve ourselves and I sincerely congratulate anyone who does this for as I tell my clients, 'Developing yourself might be the most challenging work you do but it is also the most rewarding work you do because it impacts everything you do.'
Many people claim they want to better themselves in some fashion whether its improve their level of play, change a personal habit or even remove it and enhance a skill or make an important decision that can impact their lives dramatically. However, many of us are really skilled at thinking about or talking about taking action, but something magical happens between talking, thinking and the actually doing. We just dont do it.
The purpose of the following exercise is to reveal to you why there is a challenge getting from where we are to where we want to be. Of course, the obvious explanations are things like procrastination, fear and self-doubt; these are too obvious and the reasons that often are used as an excuse but I believe there is something lurking behind those reasons that is even more valuable. It explains why so many of us think were taking the right avenue but in fact, are making it more difficult and end up going around in circles.
Im going to ask you to perform a simple exercise called,The Circle Exercise. You can print this page or use your own sheet of paper to make it your own.
To explain it from a realistic perspective, Im going to use a real client named, John. John is like many golfers who practice a decent amount, take lessons, plays as much as he can and yet still feels he doesnt perform up to his capabilities.
Heres how it works.
First, draw two separate circles on the page, each wide enough in which to write.
In circle #1 write down your current attitudes, beliefs, mindsets, doubts, fears, worries, negativity or even positive or negative habits that you have. I call this list your CURRENT CONDITIONS and when a client contacts me these are usually the things they arent happy with or might do well but want to improve. These might also be the things we spend a lot of time and money on trying to change or improve as well. Here are some of the items John placed in circle #1
Then I asked John to use Circle #2---to make a list of the conditions hed like to see and experience. This circle is your ideal wish list. John wrote things like:
THE REAL PURPOSE
Heres the real purpose of this exercise. First, its to reveal to you that what you want is not part of your current Conditions. Its something separate, and therefore, it is not effective to use circle #1 to get the conditions listed in circle #2. Yet, this is what so many of us try to do and it simply doesnt work very well. Circle #1 reflects Johns current conditions, some of which help his game and some of which hurt his game. Circle #2 reflects the things John would like to see and experience and what he knows will help him not only play better but help him personally as well.
Heres where the challenge lies. The challenge many people have is that when they want to change or improve something, they tend to try and use the conditions (elements) in circle #1 by either trying to fix them or learn to cope with them better. If youve read any of my past articles you know Im not a big fan of teaching people to become better copers. Why? Look at the synonyms of the word cope and youll see why. The thesaurus states: to muddle through, to deal with, to survive, to manage and to get by.
For most people this doesnt work because they are trying to use the material in circle #1 to reach the outcomes in circle #2 and you can clearly see THEY ARE TWO DIFFERENT CIRCLES! Einstein said it best, In order to generate something new, you cant use the same mind that caused the problems in the first place. Yey, this is what so many of us try to do and this is why we encounter stumbling blocks and obstacles. The truth is, however, that many of the conditions in circle #1 are already not working for us so how can we rely on them to get us what we want? We cant. If youll indulge me using this analogy: 'Its like trying to shovel snow with your hands when the better tool such as a shovel is 50 feet away in the garage.' We can keep trying to figure out how to get better at snow removal with our hands but doing so wont get us any closer to what we really want (using better tools to get rid of the snow like a shovel!).
Try the circle exercise for yourself and see if it makes sense to you that what you want (circle #2) is completely separate from your current conditions (circle #1) and that using the conditions in circle #1 will rarely get you what you want in circle #2.
Part two is next week! See you then!
To Your Best Golf!
David Breslow is a National Speaker, Author and Performance Consultant. His book, Wired To Win is available at 888.280.7715. David works with clients all over the world via telephone so it doesnt matter where you live, work or play! His clients include professional athletes (PGA, LPGA and other sports), juniors and all amateurs. He also works with Businesses of all sizes. He brings a fresh, direct, no-nonsense revolutionary approach to Human Performance, helping people make quicker and more powerful shifts in attitude, behavior and action. David is the weekly Mental Game Columnist for The Golf Channel where his articles are read by over 4000,000 people. For more info please visit: www.theflowzone.net, email: firstname.lastname@example.org or call: 847.681.0247